All posts tagged: Hong Kong

Lee Kit

Something You Can’t Leave Behind By Charlotte Chang The introduction to Lee Kit’s first solo show with Massimo De Carlo Hong Kong, Something You Can’t Leave Behind, opens with a lengthy quote containing sentence fragments and abrupt imperatives that is at once baffling and transcendent. After a series of disjointed declarative statements – such as “there is a movie in every corner”, “a bus ride might make you smile” and “our time has gone” – Lee commands viewers to “mute the voiceover”, before ending by saying “something you can’t leave behind”, the show’s titular reference to elusive and ineffable but persistent traces of life and memory. The intimate narrative of the show, composed of eight site-specific works with complex combinations of projections and Lee’s characteristic mixed-media paintings and drawings, is as much a stream of consciousness as the quote. While the show’s “something” seems intertwined with Lee’s individual consciousness, manifest in ghostly imprints of mundane objects, disembodied gestures and idiosyncratic expletives, the multifarious interplay between tangibility and intangibility, light and shadow, sharpness and blurriness, and contrasting scales brings out something more universal: that, in myriad ways, …

Hi! Houses A rejuvenation of Hong Kong heritage

In Hong Kong many heritage buildings have been destroyed or neglected, and the government has only had a heritage-preservation policy since very recently. Its Art Promotion Office invited four Hong Kong artists to revitalise four centuries-old houses in different corners of the territory, using art as a subtle but powerful tool to link the past with the present and revive collective memory. The exhibitions recall in particular the Hakka heritage of Hong Kong, the commercial prosperity of the city during the 19th century and its role during the overthrow of the Qing Dynasty through the figure of Sun Yat-sen. All the heritage buildings connect Hong Kong with the history of China from different perspectives, at a time when the question of identity is particularly strongly contested. The artists’ research involved meeting descendants of the clans, neighbours, guards and village elders, in order to collect micro-histories, which they mixed with their own stories and historical events. They thus became storytellers, weaving fiction and reality to transform archives, empty walls and facts into vivid contemporary experiences. The cultural heritage consists not …

Tang Kwok Hin

Born and educated in Hong Kong, Tang Kwok Hin keeps questioning his background, and systematically looks with suspicion at the immediate environment around him. A conceptual artist and a very fine draughtsman, he uses ready-mades and collages with the aim of decomposing reality, mixing fiction with in-depth research and personal stories. After concentrating on everyday objects, which he tried to deprive of the social meanings and functions attached to them, he has recently expanded his exploration of the discrepancy between objects’ packaging and their contents to the whole of society, considering rules, laws and traditions as wrappings and containers, allowing for very different contents. Artomity: When we met after the Umbrella Movement, you said that you felt your practice had to become more political. Two years later, and after Needs, a solo show at Gallery Exit that functioned almost like a retrospective, how has the movement affected your work? Tang Kwok Hin: This exhibition helped me review my path of growth in life and art.Somehow my practice shifted very quickly after the events in order to respond …

Adrian Wong

The Tiger Returns to the Mountain By Charlotte Chang Reconstituting a Palimpsest of Hong Kong History Chinese-American artist Adrian Wong’s site-specific installation The Tiger Returns to the Mountain, presented at chi art space by the K11 Art Foundation, takes the former Tiger Balm Garden as its locus of imagination in deconstructing Hong Kong’s cultural history. The historic garden, on whose site a luxury residential complex now stands, is a palimpsest of Hong Kong’s cultural history — a site whose every reincarnation throughout the previous decades, whether as private residence, theme park or repository of psychedelic statuary, has effaced its own past while leaving indelible marks, tracing the city’s existence from colonial times to the present. The title alludes to a Chinese expression that means “allowing someone dangerous to roam again”, but the titular tiger’s identity is left ambiguous. As viewers navigate the large-scale work, which mixes multi-sensory and Chinese architectural elements, they are invited to consider this question while engaging with Hong Kong’s layered history from different vantage points. Artomity: How does the installation take advantage of chi art space’s …

Art Central returns to the Central Harbourfront Hong Kong on March 21-25 [preview and first night March 20].

Now in its third edition, Art Central is a place of discovery and a platform for high-quality works by established names to be exhibited alongside cutting-edge works by emerging artists. Staged within a 108,000 sqft architect-designed structure, the strong gallery line-up is complemented by a dynamic five-day programme that includes interactive installations, experimental films and performances, and engaging panel discussions, as well as food from some of Hong Kong’s hottest eateries. One of the most anticipated events on the city’s cultural calendar, Art Central has firmly established itself as an unmissable event during Hong Kong Art Week. Ticketing information Tickets are available in advance or on the door: www.ticketflap.com/artcentral Save 20% on general entry and concession tickets by using the code ARTOMITY17* Opening hours VIP preview (by invitation only)   Monday, March 20, 3 – 5pm First night  Monday, March 20, 5 – 9pm General opening hours Tuesday, March 21, 12 – 5pm Wednesday, March 22, 12 – 5pm Thursday, March 23, 12 – 9pm Friday, March 24, 12 – 7pm Saturday, March 25, 11am – 7pm artcentralhongkong.com …

Belgium Week Brings Vibrant Belgian Art Scene to Hong Kong

November 12 to 19 Belgium Week is proud to showcase a wide range of contemporary Belgian art and artists at KEE Club and ArtOne in November, many showing in Hong Kong for the first time. The exhibitions are curated by Belgian Hong Kong resident Emilie Rolin Jacquemyns, who has brought together a varied collection of artists from galleries in Belgium and overseas, as well as private collections, notably from within Hong Kong. One of the countries with the highest number of art collectors per capita, Belgium is fast becoming a contemporary-art hotspot, and the work presented throughout the week will showcase both established and exciting new artists from Belgium whose works reflect the country: rich in culture and artistic expression. Three artists out of the thirteen exhibiting at KEE Club are Harold Ancart, Ann Veronica Janssens and Sophie Whettnall. Ancart, recently nominated by the Financial Times as one of this year’s hot names, was born in Brussels but now lives and works in New York, and will be presenting an untitled piece. Using space and repetition for his architectural installations and works on paper, his …

Angela Su

Hong Kong artist Angela Su shares the thinking behind her work with Caroline Ha Thuc You are well known for your ink drawings featuring strange creatures that combine human and animal elements. Do these creatures reflect your vision of contemporary humanity? Angela Su: Probably. I contemplate how human beings can exist alternatively. With contemporary science the imaginations of human beings are often reduced to numbers and scientific data, whereas in ancient times the understanding of the body was abstract, allegorical and instinctive; the spiritual was intertwined with the physical. Of course there was a lot of superstition and it was highly inaccurate from the perspective of contemporary western medicine, but I am attracted to the kind of imagination brought about by destabilising the accepted understanding of the body. Is there a philosophical idea behind this approach, such as perceiving the world as a whole? There is no particular philosophical idea behind this approach. It was just based on my consciousness and empathy as a human being. We lost our connections to nature and all creatures …

Morgan Wong

An in-depth but casual conversation between Hong Kong artist Morgan Wong and art writer Caroline Ha Thuc   Caroline Ha Thuc: From the beginning of your career time has been at the core of your practice: how to visualise it, how to grasp it and even recently how to smell it. Where does this obsession come from? Morgan Wong: I have no clear-cut notion of when and where this obsession or interest came from. I always see my work Plus-Minus-Zero (2010) as one of my fundamental encounters with the subject of temporality. However, there are always threads connecting previous and future works, like Journey – Hong Kong (2007) and I Got Time (2013), and I think it is important that some traces stay hidden so that connections appear at the right moment, instead of everything being too logical in the first place. My latest project, KIGOJA Standard Time (KST) (2016), in which I deal with time zones as immaterial borders, could be seen as revisiting time difference as a subject, but it also connects with …